The power and promise of feminist movements
-Lighting the Way, including history, interviews, and recommendations for philanthropy.
Notably, feminist movements have achieved their successes with minimal philanthropic support. In 2017, less than 1 percent of total foundation giving was directed to women’s rights organizations.
Recommendations for funders:
- Understand power structures that shape our homes, communities, and systems.
- Re-examine risk. Recognize the greatest risk is not investing in the feminist leaders and organizations that are actively tackling systemic injustice—and facing well-funded opposition.
Support feminist funds.
- Shift your practices. Expand your sourcing beyond your close-in network, and ensure your diligence practices aren’t screening out feminist movements. Fund across the ecosystem and provide long-term general operating support.
- Measure what matters to movements. The multifaceted work of movements requires a range of measures. Work with grantees to define success—and allow them to pivot as needed.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy took a look at ways to simplify the grant application process. Minnesota’s own Kari Aanestad (MN Council of Nonprofits) reported on grantseeker perceptions:
- Topping the list of application complaints was funders who require a grant seeker to complete an application without letting them see it beforehand.
- Lengthy applications in relation to the small amount of cash being provided.
- Repetitive questions.
- Character limits on response.
Solutions from the growing practice of “Trust-Based Philanthropy” include shorter applications, a shift toward more general operating funds, and flexibility in how foundation grant money can be use.